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The Death of Moses
MOSES was soon to die, and he was commanded to gather the
children of Israel together before his death and relate to them all the journeyings of the
Hebrew host since their departure from Egypt, and all the great transgressions of their
fathers, which brought His judgments upon them, and compelled Him to say that they should
not enter the Promised Land. Their fathers had died in the wilderness, according to the
word of the Lord. Their children had grown up, and to them the promise was to be fulfilled
of possessing the land of Canaan. Many of these were small children when the law was
given, and they had no remembrance of the grandeur of the event. Others were born in the
wilderness, and lest they should not realize the necessity of their obeying the Ten
Commandments and all the laws and judgments given to Moses, he was instructed of God to
recapitulate the Ten Commandments, and all the circumstances connected with the giving of
Moses had written in a book all the laws and judgments given him of God, and had
faithfully recorded all His instructions given them by the way, and all the miracles which
He had performed for them, and all the murmurings of the children of Israel. Moses had
also recorded his being overcome in consequence of their murmurings.
Final Instruction to Israel
All the people were assembled before him, and he read the events of their past history
out of the book which he had written. He read also the promises of God to them if they
would be obedient, and the curses which would come upon them if they were disobedient.
Moses told them that, for their rebellion, the Lord had several times purposed to destroy
them, but he had interceded for them so earnestly that God had graciously spared them. He
reminded them of the miracles which the Lord did unto Pharaoh and all the land of Egypt.
He said to them, "But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Lord which He
did. Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye
may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it." Deut.
Moses especially warned the children of Israel against being seduced into idolatry. He
earnestly charged them to obey the commandments of God. If they would prove obedient and
love the Lord and serve Him with their undivided affections, He would give them rain in
due season and cause their vegetation to flourish, and increase their cattle. They should
also enjoy especial and exalted privileges, and should triumph over their enemies.
Moses instructed the children of Israel in an earnest, impressive manner. He knew that it
was his last opportunity to address them. He then finished writing in a book all the laws,
judgments, and statutes which God had given him, also the various regulations respecting
sacrificial offerings. He placed the book in the hands of men in the sacred office and
requested that, for safe keeping, it should be put in the side of the ark, for God's care
was continually upon that sacred chest. This book of Moses was to be preserved, that the
judges of Israel might refer to it if any case should come up to make it necessary. An
erring people often understand God's requirements to suit their own case; therefore the
book of Moses was preserved in a most sacred place, for future reference.
Moses closed his last instructions to the people by a most powerful, prophetic address. It
was pathetic and eloquent. By inspiration of God he blessed separately the tribes of
Israel. In his closing words he dwelt largely upon the majesty of God and the excellency
of Israel, which would ever continue if they would obey God and take hold of His strength.
The Decease and Resurrection of Moses
"And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top
of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead,
unto Dan. And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of
Judah, unto the utmost sea, and the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the
city of palm trees, unto Zoar. And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware
unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have
caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the
servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And
He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth
of his sepulchre unto this day. And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he
died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated." Deut. 34:1-7.
It was not the will of God that anyone should go up with Moses to the top of Pisgah. There
he stood, upon a high prominence on Pisgah's top, in the presence of God and heavenly
angels. After he had viewed Canaan to his satisfaction, he lay down, like a tired warrior,
to rest. Sleep came upon him, but it was the sleep of death. Angels took his body and
buried it in the valley. The Israelites could never find the place where he was buried.
His secret burial was to prevent the people from sinning against the Lord by committing
idolatry over his body.
Satan exulted that he had succeeded in causing Moses to sin against God. For this
transgression Moses came under the dominion of death. If he had continued faithful, and
his life had not been marred with that one transgression, in failing to give God the glory
of bringing water from the rock, he would have entered the Promised Land, and would have
been translated to heaven without seeing death. Michael, or Christ, with the angels that
buried Moses, came down from heaven, after he had remained in the grave a short time, and
resurrected him and took him to heaven.
As Christ and the angels approached the grave, Satan and his angels appeared at the grave
and were guarding the body of Moses, lest it should be removed. As Christ and His angels
drew nigh, Satan resisted their approach, but was compelled, by the glory and power of
Christ and His angels, to fall back. Satan claimed the body of Moses, because of his one
transgression; but Christ meekly referred him to His Father, saying, "The Lord rebuke
thee." Jude 9. Christ told Satan that He knew Moses had humbly repented of this one
wrong, that no stain rested upon his character, and that his name in the heavenly book of
records stood untarnished. Then Christ resurrected the body of Moses, which Satan had
At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses, and Elijah who had been translated, were sent to
talk with Christ in regard to His sufferings, and be the bearers of God's glory to His
dear Son. Moses had been greatly honored of God. He had been privileged to talk with God
face to face, as a man speaketh with his friend. And God had revealed to him His excellent
glory, as He had never done to any other.
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